“For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed”
This was what Mary said when she met Elizabeth in Judah. Mary was probably 19 years old when the angel of the Lord met and proclaimed to her that she would bear the Son of God. The angel also announced that her relative Elizabeth has conceived despite her barrenness, for “with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37). It is a wonderful scene where these two women meet. Elizabeth was old and barren, yet with child, while Mary was very young and pregnant without ‘knowing a man’. We see God’s hand in both these miracles that defy the natural order of things.
Most of us suffering from infertility may wonder why God is putting us through this trauma, when He can heal us ‘right away’ and make us pregnant. Well, if there’s one thing we need to know about God, it’s this: He cannot be confined in a neat box! He has many acts up His sleeve and is the sovereign God who decides how and when to answer our prayers. There are times when God will do the unexpected and take us on a path we never even dreamed of.
I believe the person who said “The longest journey of any person is the journey inward”, had a long walk with God! Our struggles with infertility can be a wonderful opportunity to get rid of all the spiritual, mental, and emotional infections and dirt that have slowed us down in our walk of faith. When we trust in, rely on, and put our confidence in the Rock of Ages, we embark on an exciting journey that will take us to the place of complete rest, peace, and joy in Christ.
God works in ways that are beyond our comprehension. Sometimes, we may not like what He has planned for us. But, if we believe that we are in His thoughts and He has good plans that give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), we will welcome any surprise He throws at us. Christian adoption may be one of the surprises God has in store for infertile couples. He knows the inborn yearning in every woman to become a mother and He understands this feeling. Adoption may be His way of meeting your need to become a mother and giving a life of comfort, security, love, and faith to a child who needs you, more than you need him or her.
For my journey to motherhood, this is exactly how God worked. I lost pregnancy after pregnancy in an attempt to become a mother the only way I knew how. When I finally received the news that a successful pregnancy was not going to be an option, I prayed that God would remove this great desire to be a mother if it was not in His plans for my life. It was then, that He opened a window in my darkest days of desperation, as if to say “Mardie, simply follow MY path for your life.” God’s path led me through an adoption journey that blessed me not only with my son, but also with the work I do today through Lifetime Adoption Center. Two miracles that would not have existed for me had I not followed God’s leading.
If you are confused about adoption or your journey to parenthood, I encourage you to spend some time today in prayer. Ask God to show you what to do and lead you in your decisions concerning adoption. Believe that one day you will have a child who will rise up and call you blessed!
If you know someone who is facing infertility or would like to add to their family through adoption, the new book Called to Adoption is a perfect gift! In this video, author Mardie Caldwell shares where you can purchase a copy:
Have you ever looked at another person and thought, “Has she got it made! God has really blessed her!”
She has what you want—a child to call her own, maybe great parents, a strong marriage, a spouse who loves Jesus. Maybe you envy her successful professional life, the ease of getting pregnant or adopting, or material blessings that have not kept them from loving Jesus.
Sometimes we look at the blessings from God in another person’s life with a longing to experience the same goodness. We find ourselves fighting feelings of envy or possibly even disappointment with God because we didn’t get what we consider necessary for our happiness… a child, either biological or through adoption.
Until you make Christ the center of your life, dear friend, you’ll never be satisfied or fulfilled. Remember Jesus’ words to Peter when the fisherman wanted to know His plans for another disciple? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. (John 21:22)
Do not worry or concern yourself with what God has done in His timing in someone else’s life. You will only miss out on the blessing God has for you … in His timing he will bless you too. In the perfect way that is best for you with the child he has for just you.
I confess, dear God, that I have looked upon people around me with envy, wishing to have their blessings for my own. But You have other plans for me, plans that may test my faith but that will ultimately make me perfect and complete and in your timing, which is perfect. I rest in the knowledge of Your sovereignty. In Jesus name … Amen
Here in the United States, media and popular entertainment seem to glorify teen pregnancy. MTV’s reality shows “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” have become increasing popular…making celebrities out of teen mothers. However, it seems that there may be some misperceptions here. Teenage pregnancy is not nearly as glamorous as it may seem on TV.
Below are some strong statistics that help explain the actual challenges of teen mothers in the US.
- 80% of teen moms are on welfare
- Over 50% of children raised by teen moms are reported to Child Protection Services
- Only 1.5% of teen moms graduate from college by age 30 (and only 40% graduate from high school)
- Children raised without a father are twice as likely to quit school and four times as likely to need behavioral help
- Children of teen parents are three times more likely to become teen parents themselves.
Perhaps it’s time to open our eyes to the seriousness of this situation. Teen moms….there is help for you out there. There are plenty of loving Christian families looking to adopt a child in need, and willing to help with the costs of pregnancy including medical expenses.
Ron and Liz were open to a semi-open adoption, sending photos and letters through our adoption center. They clearly stated that they were not comfortable with more, nor were they open to occasional visits. They were chosen by Renee, a teenage birth mother who preferred no ongoing communication whatsoever.
At the hospital, as Ron and Liz were awaiting their son’s birth, they met Renee’s parents and instantly hit it off! Both couples were in their early 40’s, and during the long labor, learned that they had a lot in common. A few days later, when it was time for the baby to be discharged, Ron and Liz realized that they wanted to see Renee’s family. Now, more than six years later, they still spend a week each summer together.
“We weren’t looking for a relationship like that,” Ron shares. “But God had it waiting for us! They are part of our son’s family, and He opened our hearts to see that they are now part of our family, too. We didn’t know what He had in store. Adoption has been a life-changing experience for us.”
In the case of a domestic adoption where there is little contact with the birth mother, you can still gather enough information to be able to answer questions your child will have. In adopting a foreign-born child, you will learn very little about the birth parents, but you can usually discover enough about the village the child came from or the circumstance that brought him to the orphanage or foster care. Children who grow up knowing that they were adopted by honest, trustworthy, and supportive parents will grow up with a healthier sense of self.
As a Christian and an adoption professional, I believe that open or semi-open adoptions are most beneficial for all involved. The birth mother has the peace she needs that her child is happy and healthy, and that she made the right decision. The adoptive parents have access to the birth family should they need medical information or have other questions. And the child has the opportunity to know that his adoption was a choice made out of great love, with a birth mother who cared more about him than her own desires, and that his adoptive parents embrace not only him, but his biological heritage, as well. I have found, too, that parenting is less stressful and fears are calmed when the birth mother is known, embraced, and available.
Rely on Him when you feel doubt or need strength. He has all we need.
“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.”
Oftentimes, God is more in tune with what would be good for us and our adoption. Allow Him to prepare your heart for the adoption He knows you can handle. This can mean putting your emotions aside until you find peace, as I did in my adoption. The benefits far outweigh any risk.
Called to Adoption is a new book for Christians who are feeling God leading them to consider building their family through adoption. Author and Adoption Expert Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. used her own adoption journey and the experience she has gained in helping thousands of couples adopt to create this Christian book for adoption. Find out more about the book & order your copy at CalledtoAdoption.com. Caldwell’s nationwide adoption center, Lifetime Adoption, has been helping families adopt since 1986.